Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. John Jarndyce explains to Esther that ___________.

2. Wy does Guppy want to get Esther tied into the Jarndyce case?

3. Why does George visit Mr. and Mrs. Bagnet?

4. Young Jo was ___________.

5. Esther is to become a governess to ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Mr. Turveydrop, the elder, is a most unusual person. What exactly is his mental condition? Is he a healthy person? Is Dickens being facetious?

2. Poor Guster, the Snagsbys' maid, is given to seizures. Why does Guster fit in so well with the Snagsbys?

3. How likely is it that Mr. Jarndyce would simply bow out and suggest Esther marry Woodcourt? Is this just common courtesy or this time in England?

4. Describe Mrs. Jellyby's compassion for humanity. Is she a rational person?

5. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

6. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

7. What is the relationship between Esther Summerson and Miss Barbary?

8. Discuss Krook's strange death. What is spontaneous combustion?

9. What makes Lady Dedlock's past such a dreaded secret? Why do they go to such lengths to hide it and why is it threatening to have it revealed by Tulkinghorn?

10. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 48 of Bleak House, Dickens refers to "upstart gas" that has begun to light the streets of London. Research the use of gas for public lighting and the replacement of whale oil. When did the change take place, and why? How did the two qualities of lighting compare. Was it truly a progressive change?

Essay Topic 3

Dickens describes Tulkinghorn's funeral as having many empty carriages for absent mourners. Research this practice and write an essay on its origins, its meaning, and its demise.

(see the answer keys)

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